Welcome to a collection of essay-style musings from the mind of a thirty-something, city-dwelling teacher, skeptic, nerd, foodie, writer, stoic, Shiba Inu overseer with bonus anxiety & ADD.
All opinions expressed on this site are solely those of the author–as if any other sane human being would take credit for them.
What jerk is responsible for this crap?
Hong Kong, December 2018
Ryan Eanes is a native son of the North Carolina Piedmont, but has lived, studied, and/or worked in New York City; Eugene, Oregon; the Eastern Shore of Maryland; Wilmington, Delaware; and most recently, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dr. Eanes is a graduate of the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication, the School of Media Studies at The New School, and Wake Forest University, none of which have (yet) told him that he needs to stop telling people that he went there. By trade, he is a teaching professor in advertising psychology at Temple University, but when he isn’t terrorizing students, he can be found at home trying not to contract COVID-19.
(Switching into first-person voice here to be less of a douche…) As an avid reader in high school I discovered essays by Augusten Burroughs and David Sedaris, as well as Bill Bryson’s travelogues. I was enamored–I laughed so hard that I cried. I had to try this style of writing for myself, and so off-and-on I would crank out observational pieces, which included the better part of a year’s worth of “humor” columns for the Old Gold & Black, the campus newspaper at Wake Forest University. I continued for a couple of years after graduating, posting somewhat regularly on an old-school, hand-coded blog, until the habit simply evaporated.
But here we are in 2020, forced to “shelter in place” during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. This mandated time indoors gave me an opportunity to revisit my old memoirs while cleaning out my computer’s hard drive. The essays cracked me up, just as they always had, and since laughter is the best medicine, it felt like an opportune time to talk about stuff once again.
So all of this is new?
No–much of it was written between 2000, when I was a freshman in college, and 2006, when I was living in Brooklyn and three years into the job I held in NYC for the better part of a decade. I’ve identified the year each piece was originally written, as best as I can ascertain.
I have taken the liberty of retouching bits and pieces of pretty much every essay, but I’ve made every effort to ensure that the spirit of the pieces remained the same. In the few instances where I made major additions or substantial modifications, I have noted both the original year I wrote the thing and the year I made my revisions.
The things you’ve written can’t possibly all be true.
As I have no interest in being the next James Frey, I will say up front that no, not every single word is true, but the overarching sentiments and basic assertions are indeed real. I have tried to be careful not to make anything up entirely from scratch, which was Frey’s big sin.
Some details have been deliberately “embellished,” for sure. Other details were shaped by my memories, which we all know have the habit of shifting over time.
The “quotations” are typically not verbatim, either. In many cases, I’ve amalgamated more than one person together into a composite character; in other cases, I’ve subdivided people into multiple new personalities.
One more thing about the people that I write about–generally I use the real names of my closest friends and family members, but I will use pseudonyms as necessary; I’ve tried to be sure to note if I do this.
How can I contact you?
I’m wary of why anyone would want to, but…
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—Updated April 25, 2020